It has been 21 years to the day that Jerome Caja died. God, I miss him.
"Here’s to you Jerome — You have been a source of inspiration from the time I first laid eyes on you. I’ll never forget that moment. It was at Club Uranus on a Sunday night when you hopped up on the bar to go-go dance, flailing away with your signature harsh makeup and skimpy, tattered lingerie that looked like it had been ripped off of a discarded Barbie doll. I was transfixed! This was my first glimpse of a fierce, queer, punk tornado who truly celebrated NOT fitting in!
You made us laugh at a time when HIV & AIDS devastated both our homes and our beloved community. You were a beacon of bizarre, fresh light and a ferocious vanguard during the darkest of times. You had the courage to publicly annihilate every stereotype of masculinity, and you made us look honestly at our own internalized homophobia.
You lived life to the fullest without ever letting fear dictate your actions. You did what you wanted, when you wanted, how you wanted. Thank you for your unapologetic, provocative, creative spirit. Thank you for breaking all those gender taboos and for inspiring us to do the same. And lastly, thank you for creating a masterful body of work that continues to inspire, move, and touch us to this day."
We love and miss you dearly, Jerome!
by Anthony Cianciolo